Jack Becker, World War II veteran and owner of Jack Becker Distributors Inc. in Jacksonville, FL, has always required a flag be flown at their warehouse, so putting Old Glory on his fleet of trucks was an easy decision.
Becker was a flight instructor when WWII began. He enlisted immediately in the Navy flight program and was sent to carrier duty in the Pacific for the duration of the war. Due to an in-flight injury, Jack was discharged from active duty in 1954 and soon began Jack Becker Distributors Inc., a Kendall Motor Oil distributorship.
Following the Sept. 11 attacks, the company was as sad, angry and ready to fight as everyone else in America. In searching for a suitable flag for their trucks, they realized they were impractical. The dignity required in displaying an actual flag wouldn't lend itself to being paraded around on a truck driving more than 50,000 miles per year. Instead, Becker decided a full-truck decal would be the perfect solution and called Signature Graphics in Porter, IN.
While watching a memorial to the WTC, Duane Rowland, president of the trucking company, saw a flag superimposed over the scene, and it seemed to capture the message they were trying to convey. While designing the truck decal, Becker insisted the decals be primarily of the flag with no commercial message. The machinery in the design is representative of the industries they serve, as well as of the industrial strength of America and its people. The designers at Signature Graphics added the Statue of Liberty as a tribute to all Americans, especially New Yorkers.
While the company feared some negative reaction for grandstanding, it never happened, said Rowland. "The dozens of comments by customers and friends has been 100 percent positive. Our drivers have reported even more gratifying results. Not only have our customers thanked them for displaying the flag, but travelers on the interstates have honked and cheered while leaning out the windows of their cars, especially those from New York."
--Rene Tankersley, features editor